Misleading bill titles and how our politicians sell our government to corporations.

IN A 50-TO-48 VOTE along party lines, the U.S. Senate decided to kill FCC rules blocking your ISP from selling your browsing history to the advertising industry without permission. Should the change pass the House, as is expected, the likes of Comcast and Verizon will be able to make money disclosing what you buy, where you browse, and what you search from your own home, all without asking permission.

 The Electronic Frontier Foundation decried the vote as putting “ISP profits over your privacy” and a potential “crushing loss for online privacy”: ISPs act as gatekeepers to the Internet, giving them incredible access to records of what you do online. They shouldn’t be able to profit off of the information about what you search for, read about, purchase, and more without your consent.

Hardly had the voting ended than the  Internet & Television Association came out with this statement: “We appreciate today’s Senate action to repeal unwarranted FCC rules that deny consumers consistent privacy protection online and violate competitive neutrality. … Our industry remains committed to offering services that protect the privacy and security of the personal information of our customers. We support this step towards reversing the FCC’s misguided approach and look forward to restoring a consistent approach to online privacy protection that consumers want and deserve.”

It’s unclear, though, how the broadband industry could be “committed” to user privacy while backing regulatory changes that would permit the sale of users’ private data, but that’s the point of this write up. Do you notice anything deceitful about the statement by the Internet & Television group? How the statement says that the repeal was of “rules that deny consumers consistent privacy protection online” People who don’t know better will read that statement and believe that the repeal is a good thing because it gives privacy protection, without knowing that it does exactly the opposite. Such blatant lies and manipulations should not be allowed, but it’s alive and well in our society.

HR 1275

This deceitful sell is not only practiced by private interests, but also by our elected representatives and others in government, especially when bills are being presented. That’s the reason a horrible bill like the GOPcare bill that would have made healthcare less affordable and taken care away from tens of millions of people, while leaving tens of millions more uncovered could be presented as a fix for our healthcare system. It was presented under the title of the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” Imagine if the press had not been locked in a war with the Trump administration and decided to go along. Imagine that the press had run with that title, and not dug into the details of the bill like they did because they don’t like Trump a lot.

That’s why a bill that would force a woman seeking an abortion to delay her medical care and subject her to intrusive and unnecessary state-scripted information, regardless of her circumstances. A bill that is designed to coerce and shame a woman, making it more difficult for her to obtain a safe and legal abortion could be presented as “A Woman’s Right to Know” bill. This bill has been making the rounds of states in the country.

That’s why a bill that would enshrine taxpayer-funded discrimination into Alabama law by allowing state-funded and licensed adoption and foster care agencies to reject prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s religious beliefs could be deceptively presented as the “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” This bill, H.B. 24, recently passed by the Alabama House of Representatives,  would allow state-licensed and funded child-placing agencies to disregard the best interest of children, and turn away qualified Alabamians seeking to care for a child in need — including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. The measure would even allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their own extended families — a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child. A qualified, loving LGBTQ grandparent, for example, could be deemed unsuitable under the proposed law. But, the bill was sold as “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act” emphasis mine.

Women standing up for the right to choose.

That’s why a bill that takes away workers rights to unionize and fight for career improvement, and better working conditions can be presented as the “Right to Work” bill. Or why a bill that does nothing to enforce rules to clean up or stop pollution can be presented as the “Clean Air Act.” It’s why  we have the “Healthy Forrest Initiative Act” which sounds like it’ll protect our trees and forests but actually just introduces lax regulations against deforestation. My personal favorite is the “No Child Left Behind Act” which we know has, through its standardized tests, damaged education, disproportionately among minority children. The law also set narrow achievement goals for students, and as a result, has left millions of students behind. A law that literally leaves you behind by dropping you if you don’t do well in its standardized tests was sold as the “No Child Left Behind Act.”

You know these bills. There are thousands of them all around the country, and this article is an attempt to shine a light on them, and bring them up for discussion. It’s an attempt to get people more interested in discovering what’s inside the bill, instead of just looking at the title and assuming it’s representative of what’s in the bill. Our government has been taken over by dishonest people who’re using all sorts of subterfuge to enslave us, therefore, it’s our duty to be more vigilant.

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